Northland & Bay of Islands
“Winterless” Northland is a land of intriguing NZ history, uncluttered beaches, and mammoth kauri trees.
The spectacular Bay of Islands is it’s key destination and should probably be on every itinerary, as should a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the birthplace of New Zealand and a special place in the nation’s history. The Bay of Islands includes Russell, a gorgeous little town, formerly ‘the hellhole of the Pacific’, best reached by ferry from Paihia.
Other destinations include Kerikeri, which entices with its historic buildings, while if you’re really heading north, Cape Reinga is as far as you can go.
Driving along Ninety Mile Beach is another highlight, though you won’t want to do it in your rental car.
Near the western coast, Tane Mahuta is ‘Lord of the Forest’, the grandaddy of all kauri trees.